Body Work, Part I: Talking to My Toes

The past few weeks have been very rewarding, both in terms of my own healing work and in working with my body.

After my post about working with my body elemental, we reached a truce. My body elemental talked to me in stops and starts. It seemed he did want to have a relationship but I could understand why he was hesitant. We talk infrequently now. I get the idea that he is feeling me out to see if I’m sincere about working together.

Meanwhile I’ve been taking steps towards reconciliation. I made up a list of body positive affirmations that I like and I’ve been using them nightly. Not as much as I could but they are a lot for me to swallow in large doses. I don’t want to force it and feel like I’m saying something just as an excuse. I’ve also been going through my closet and getting rid of clothes that I don’t feel great wearing and buying new clothes that I love. It’s a process but I’m happy with how it’s going.

Since my weight gain isn’t related to food and exercise, I may be this weight forever. Who knows how long it will take me to go through this mummification and reunification process? Whenever I do whatever it is I have to do to become one with my body will come when it will come. I’m not going to drive myself crazy over it. In the meantime, I am the only one holding me back.

I asked myself what I was waiting on doing because of my body or feelings about my body and decided to start doing some of them. I started running longer distances even if I am slower right now. I bought a great sexy summer dress and went dancing in the city with the dragon. As far as activities, these were really the only ones I could come up with. I already do a lot of things that feel good with my body like dancing, singing, being physically intimate, playing with my son.

I’ve done variations of these changes I’m making before but I could also tell that I had been letting things slide. I’d been avoiding doing certain things (going into fitting rooms to buy new clothes, for example). No one would know but me that I didn’t feel the best about my body. I wasn’t depriving anyone else of something I could provide but I was putting things off.

I honestly couldn’t see how doing these things (again) was going to change anything. I’ve done them before and they worked well but only to a point. And I know that if I don’t think it will work, then I’ve already defeated myself. I needed something more.

And I had nothing.

Before I woke up, I did a lot of “Fake it til you make it.” I acted the way I wanted to feel and then it followed eventually or I found something new. It hadn’t worked in this area. I had succeeded only in having my actions not match my heart but I had acted in the most benevolent way I knew at the time.

So I have been praying. I asked to have my heart healed around this hurt and for Divine guidance in repairing this relationship. I prayed about this one each time I got on my knees. I pulled some cards because I didn’t how I was going to change how I felt about my body. What followed from this was very interesting. Whether it’s related to this prayer or not, I don’t know but it has been very helpful in my body work.

I was given the idea to express gratitude to my body. I started with a practice I learned over ten years ago. A mentor of mine was teaching me how to get out of the chatter in my head and return to the moment, wherever I was. The way I was taught to do this was to say in my mind whatever I was doing at that moment. Creating the inner dialogue made all the difference for me between simply observing and actually being present and participating in what I was doing.

As I went through my day, I said what I was experiencing in my mind. (This takes a lot of time to do! So different from what I had been doing before, just noticing.)

Now I am washing my hands. I feel the slipperiness of the soap and the coolness of the water. I feel my thumb and forefinger wrap around the faucet and twist my wrist to stop the flow…

I’ve been doing this as often as I can remember. It doesn’t take much to sidetrack my thoughts then ten minutes pass and I’m into a mental discussion of what to make for dinner. It does make me chuckle when I realize that I am barely present at all! I am always thinking, thinking, thinking. Of the future, what someone said to me, whether there is some sign or message I’m missing right now, what I want to do after I’m done doing what I’m currently doing. Whew!!! It’s exhausting. My mind is on its own track, doing its own thing, and I haven’t monitored it at all. I’ve been thinking that I’m the one in control.

Yeah, that is such an illusion. I’ve been a slave to my thoughts.

Although it sounds very simplistic, this has been a great practice for me. First, it forces me to go back to the present moment. Sometimes it even makes me slow down my actions because I can’t say the words in my mind as fast as I can make my body take the action. The difference between what I considered mindfulness before and what I am doing now is stark. I’m finding such contrast in my attention between silently observing what is going on vs. speaking the activity or observation in my mind. I am totally in love with this practice. I can’t even have a conversation with anyone while I am doing this. It keeps me totally immersed in being.

I’m being shown how to reprogram my thoughts. Because if I don’t initiate placing thoughts in my head by my own will then they revert to old patterns or try to project ahead into the future. Silly me! I thought if I just left my mind alone it would play nice and I didn’t have to pay attention to it. Wrong! If I don’t put anything in my mind, it comes up with all sorts of ideas! I can see I have a lot of work to do here. For the rest of my life, haha!

Another thing to come out of this practice is that after a week or so Spirit showed me how to alter the thoughts to reflect gratitude and appreciation for each of my body parts as I observe them. This was an amazing development as well! Basically as I do an activity or observe myself instead of stating what is going on, I address the body part and thank it and compliment it for doing its job so effortlessly, gracefully, etc.

I’ve expressed appreciation for my body before but it was always more general and not speaking to specific body parts like this. In this, I’m not talking about my toes; I’m talking to my toes. Now I’ve started doing this each day by wriggling my toes and talking to them, telling them how pleased I am with what they do and how easily they do it. Since I was already talking to my toes, I then had the toes on my left foot wiggle at the toes on my right foot.

It went on from there. Yes, it was weird but I don’t care. Maybe I’m taking animism too far. Doesn’t matter. I want to be whole with my body and I’ll try anything.

I enjoyed having my toes wiggle at each other and continued on with my pedary theater.

Left foot wiggles toes and tells a joke to the right foot.

Right foot laughs.

Left foot invites right foot out for coffee.

They walk away together.

Yes, I am having these conversations. I’m really just a huge goofball. Why not play with the idea? I’m having a grand ole time talking to my body and realizing all the cool stuff it does so easily. All I have to do is have a thought and my body does it! How neat!

So, I thought this was beyond my wildest dreams.
Stay present.
No worries about the future.
Enjoy the now.
Thank my body and appreciate it as it does what I ask it to do.
Take time to play (with my body too).

Well, I don’t have words to describe this but after I started talking to my toes, I realized that they possessed a certain “toe” quality. There was some consciousness in them that was expressed as toe-ness. They possessed some “toe” essence. I thought I was making this up but I just kept doing it becuase it worked. I noticed the same thing about my shoulder which was the next part I started talking to religiously. I felt it contained some shoulder “knowingness” or essence. That’s the best way I can describe it.

This has been interesting. And is keeping me wondering.

To be continued.

I love you.

Namaste.

 

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2 thoughts on “Body Work, Part I: Talking to My Toes

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